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Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan with these 5 Steps

By: Chaz Chalkley

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This article was originally published in June of 2018 but has been edited for clarity, content, and relevance.

It’s important to have a disaster recovery plan in place to protect your business. Disaster arrives in all shapes and forms. Storms, earthquakes, pandemics, war, are all pieces of the greater category of disasters. Each of these things can affect your business in unpredictable ways, which can make planning a challenge. Luckily, there are 5 things that you can do to get a leg-up on or to catch on disaster recovery planning.

Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan

1. Create a Disaster Recovery Plan 

Disaster recovery planning is essential to protect your business when disaster strikes. A solid disaster recovery (DR) plan is the quickest way of restoring normal business functions and maximizing business availability. DR is focused on business operations, not just data. To create an effective DR plan, all departments within your company should be involved and contribute a list of their critical needs. With this comprehensive list, you will be equipped with the knowledge of what equipment and information are needed to continue operations in the event of a disaster.

2. Identify Roles and Responsibilities

During a disaster is not the time to figure out who is responsible for carrying out a specific function of the DR plan. Ideally, your plan is in place with enough time to prepare the team and procedures to run smoothly. Identify key individuals, document their responsibilities clearly, and ensure they are trained so they can implement the procedures quickly. Also include contact information for key stakeholders and third parties that may be critical to your business functions (e.g., Internet provider, IT provider). 

3. Ensure Data Backups Are in Place

Data is a critical component of any business and losing it can be devastating in so many ways. To survive a possible disaster, multiple backup procedures must be in place, including daily backups to an in-house server and automated off-site replication of critical data. Of course, one of the most fundamental purposes of cloud backup services is that it serves as an additional safety net to ensure your data is accessible, even in the event of a disaster. 

4. Regularly Test Your Backups and Disaster Recovery Plan

Businesses constantly evolve, and a DR plan that worked last year may not support you in the event of a disaster this year. Regularly testing your DR plan and backups helps ensure that your plan is up-to-date and all critical business aspects are covered, which keeps your business running in the event of a disaster. This testing process should include training new staff on their role in disaster recovery planning and execution. 

5. Confirm Backup Generators or Power Supplies Are Accessible

If your business resides in a building you own, it is necessary to ensure a backup generator is accessible in case power is interrupted. If a backup generator is not an option, look into an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that provides enough power so your systems can save all files before shutting down. These backup options help prevent sudden data loss and allow you enough time to initiate the disaster preparedness plan.

Our Disaster Planning Experts Are Here to Help

Don’t let your vacation be ruined by a disaster. Whether you’re a new business looking to get ahead of potential disaster or an established company that needs to put a retroactive plan in place, it’s never too late. If you want to ensure that your business has the infrastructure, expertise, and training to handle any type of disaster, we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about business continuity and disaster recovery services

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